Seventy percent of all California winegrapes are grown in the San Joaquin Valley.
That may come as a shock to those who assume virtually all of the state’s wines come from Napa Valley or Sonoma County.
To help raise the profile of the San Joaquin Valley, a unique tasting room and visitors’ center has opened in the town of Madera. It’s called Appellation California, and it offers tasting and sales of wines made in the Highway 99 corridor from Manteca to Bakersfield.
Many of the wines are quite good, which explains why so many Napa and Sonoma wineries purchase grapes from the San Joaquin Valley to supplement their own.
Appellation California is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and you can get directions online at appellationcalifornia.com.